All three markets on ICE saw a continuation of heavy volume due to May/July spreading. On cocoa, dealers noted technical indicators had turned bullish in recent sessions, with the larger Liffe cocoa market up 7 percent in the past six sessions, soaring through the 100-day moving average last week and briefly breaking above the 200-day moving average at 1,536 pounds per tonne, basis the July contract.
Liffe July cocoa futures settled up 28 pounds, or 1.9 percent, at 1,533 pounds a tonne, after hitting 1,539 pounds earlier in the session, the highest level basis second month since December 2012. Europe’s cocoa grind data for the first quarter of 2013 is due to be published April 17 and is expected to be down by 1 to 5 percent from a year earlier.
North American data will be released on Thursday, with traders expecting grindings to be relatively flat versus the first quarter of 2012. July cocoa on ICE closed up $49, or 2.2 percent, at $2,316 a tonne, above the 100-day moving average at $2,244 and nearing the 200-day moving average at $2,343. The first notice day for the May contract is Wednesday. Total volume neared 34,000 lots, up roughly 50 percent from the 250-day average, preliminary Thomson Reuters data showed.
Exports of semi-finished cocoa products from Ivory Coast rose by 2 percent during October to March of the 2012/13 cocoa season, year over year, provisional port data showed, while Ghana’s purchases dropped 15.6 percent between April 4 and October 12. Ghana’s cocoa regulator, Cocobod, said it will seek to raise $1.2 billion in a syndicated loan for crop purchases next year, $300 million less than the amount it took last year, due to lower cocoa prices.
Raw sugar futures on ICE climbed on speculative short-covering. Noncommercial dealers held a record net short position of nearly 110,000 lots in the week ended April 9. May raw sugar futures, which will expire at the end of the month, rose 0.22 cent, or 1.2 percent, to finish at 18.01 cents a lb. The front-month contract held above a more than 2-1/2-year low of 17.47 cents touched on April 3.
Total volume soared above 146,000 lots, below that of recent sessions but up about 50 percent from the 250-day average, preliminary data showed. August white sugar on Liffe ended up $8.30, or 1.7 percent, at $505.60 a tonne. ICE July arabica coffee futures rose 1.15 cents, or 0.8 percent, to close at $1.3725 per lb, consolidating above their lowest level since May 2010 of $1.3355 per lb, hit the previous session. July robusta coffee futures on Liffe finished $13, or 0.6 percent, higher at $2,071 a tonne.